If you love colourful butterflies then a trip to Europe's biggest butterfly farm, located in Trassenheide on the sunny Baltic island of Usedom, should be top of your to-do-list. And once you get there, be sure to allow time for a trip to the Nature Discovery Park in Bad Heringsdorf.
Europe's largest butterfly farm, at 5,000m², features a butterfly park, a huge tropical glasshouse with over 2,000 free-flying butterflies from some 60 species, an insect museum, a tarantula display, a glass art exhibition and an insect cinema. Inside the glasshouse you can watch these magnificent winged insects flying freely and see how they develop: from egg to caterpillar, caterpillar to cocoon and cocoon to butterfly. The best time to see butterflies hatching is about ten o'clock in the morning. The mild tropical climate of around 30°C and up to 85 per cent humidity allows the many tropical plants to flourish, creating an ideal habitat for the butterflies. Spring at the farm is all about the banana harvest and the huge blossom on the plants. Every day in July/August you can watch the tarantulas being fed from 11am, while listening to fascinating facts about the world of spiders. The biodiversity of our planet is demonstrated in the insectarium. Incredible insects, beetles that shimmer like gold, and the world's largest butterflies are all on display here. The 150m² insectarium, which is made up to look like a secret cave, also houses 40 intriguing terrariums. The impressive exhibition on glass art is another must-see.
The Nature Discovery Park at the Baltic resort of Heringsdorf is also part of the butterfly farm. See nature in a new light as you explore 500 million years of natural history. The huge site includes an adventure park, dominated by a life-sized (and deceptively life-like) Torosaurus. Continuing through the beautiful garden, passing lions, an ancient Chinese waterwheel and a waterfall and onwards to the bamboo maze, visitors young and old will find plenty to explore. In the aquariums you can marvel at brightly coloured tropical fish; in the terrariums, the focus switches to beetles, spiders and other insects. Top attractions at the park include a fossilised dinosaur nest with eight well-preserved eggs dating back around 120 million years, plus a five-tonne amethyst druse that is around 50 million years old. Experience the mysterious atmosphere inside the walk-in cave, which is made from 5,000 amethyst crystals, before heading to the reflection chamber, where various gemstones glow in the darkness.